BOY PREACHER CDV 1888 PASCHAL PORTER WONDER OF THE AGE OLD TIME RELIGION
Paschal Porter was born 1877 at Bee Camp (a settlement of four log cabins) on the Ohio River in Indiana. He was one of the few literate members of the community. He announced his desire to be a preacher at age five. By age eleven he was touring the country and beyond with his father and his manager Mr. Bingham. I say "beyond" as the boy preacher was a hit in Canada as well as the states.
The St. Andrews Bay Pilot March 15, 1888 reports on what much have been a typical performance. "Paschal Porter, the wonderful child revivalist, of Indiana, who is now only 11 years old, recently preached a sermon, in the Baptist Church at Williamstown, Ky., that astonished everybody who heard it. The pastor of the church says that he has read sermons on the same subject delivered by the ablest preachers, but not one of them could compare in power or in elegance of diction with the boy's exhortation."
Additionally, the Ashburton Guardian of November 24, 1888 reports "Among the coming sensations from America we to have a "pulpit tour" by a boy only 11 years of age, called the Rev. Paschal Porter. His eloquence is said to be such that thousands sit and listen to him for hours, while he preaches the most brilliant and profound sermons." The best copy on the little fellow is from the Little Falls New York Evening Times of March 21, 1888, which reports "So extraordinary are his powers that Simeon Marks the leading Hebrew of the village is so impressed the he almost believes little Paschl is the "Messiah for whom his race has so long waited."
I'm not going to argue with Mr. Marks, who was there (several times..it is said he attended many sermons) but as the Paschl trail ends in 1888, I am going to surmise he was not the second coming.
Original CDV Photograph by J.Q. Barloup, Williamstown KY with affixed newsprint and handwritten notes, 1888. Collection Jim Linderman
A post here on Dull Tool Dim Bulb AND old-time-religion.
See also Old Time Religion: Faith Healers, Miracle Men, Radio Preachers and Evangelists! Graphics of Revival, the Apocalypse and the Afterlife by Jim Linderman NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EBOOK AND IPAD DOWNLOAD for $5.99 as well as paperback and hardcover.